No more Texas governors for president

“Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be president of the United States, please pay attention.” - Molly Ivins
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Forty-five years after American troops murdered men, women and children in a village in Vietnam, bears witness to the horror by republishing the story of My Lai as it ran in LIFE 20 months later

(Ronald L. Haeberle — Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

The My Lai Massacre is an iconic 20th century event which reflects the USA’s attitude toward Asia and Asian people. On March 16, 1968, roughly 500 unarmed civilians in the Vietnamese village of Son My — mostly women, children, babies, and the elderly — were massacred by US troops. Many of the women were raped and some were gang-raped before being mutilated and dumped in ditches. Three US soldiers attempted to halt the massacre and were denounced in US Congress as traitors.

In my opinion, part of the contempt we see toward Asians from some US Americans (including from some other people of color who are supposedly anti-racist) is a manifestation of this political history, which also includes: (1) the invasion and colonization of the Philippines, Hawaii, Guam, Samoa; (2) the internment of Japanese Americans; (3) dropping atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki; (4) the invasion and partition of Korea and the establishment of a permanent military base; (5) the destruction of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos.

Never forget.

(via fascinasians)

When you enter the military you may expect to lose a limb. You may expect to lose your life. But no one should be expecting to be assaulted or raped

Obama made one direct and one indirect reference to gay and lesbian people in his State of the Union address.

“It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love,” he said near the start of the speech.

Later on, while discussing his role as commander-in-chief, he said, “We will ensure equal treatment for all service members, and equal benefits for their families – gay and straight.”

Fred Sainz, a spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, praised the president’s words.

“These inclusions in the speech are meaningful,” Sainz wrote in an email. “Both reaffirm his commitment to equality in ways that are substantively important. This President has done a lot for LGBT people but one of his greatest legacies will be the unapologetic way in which he has included LGBT people when speaking about our country and the way it should afford opportunity to all.”

Lila Shapiro



WASHINGTON (AP) — Senior defense officials say Pentagon chief Leon Panetta (pictured above) is removing the military’s ban on women serving in combat, opening hundreds of thousands of front-line positions and potentially elite commando jobs after more than a decade at war.

The groundbreaking move recommended by the Joint Chiefs of Staff overturns a 1994 rule banning women from being assigned to smaller ground combat units. Panetta’s decision gives the military services until January 2016 to seek special exceptions if they believe any positions must remain closed to women.

See, I believe no one in combat is better, but there’s no reason women can’t serve in this capacity should they choose it.


From NPR:

Former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska is said to be on President Obama’s short list to be the next defense secretary. But even the possibility of his nomination has stirred up opposition — particularly from members of his own political party.

If Hagel can survive a political ambush in Washington, he would be the first Pentagon chief who saw combat as an enlisted soldier.

The blunt-spoken Hagel favors deeper cuts in military spending and is wary of entangling America in long overseas missions.

As a veteran, I find it fascinating that no former enlisted military member has run the Pentagon. All too often, it’s the men behind the suits and desks that send the soldiers in uniform off to fight and die in a war for the elites. Hagel may be a member of the political elite, but he’s been a grunt before. The life of an enlisted solider is much different than that of an officer.

Lest we forget, the two major reasons Republicans hate him are that he’s been critical of Iraq and our military interventionism in general, and he’s also criticized the GOP’s slavish devotion to propping up Israel at all costs. 


Rebloggable by request:

Your argument is invalid. Youre basically saying that someone can either use guns to kill someone fast or they can use something other then a gun to get the same fucking result. So should we outlaw baseball bats because I can take one swing a someones fucking dome and kill them instantly? Fucking stupid. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people. Doesn’t matter the weapon.

image Anonymous

image Meg at Cognitive Dissonance:

Yep, you’re right. Obviously, a gun sitting on a table is not going to simply kill someone. However, you cannot deny that a semi-automatic rifle makes it easier to kill larger amounts of people in a shorter amount of time from further away.

Ever heard of dozens of people being killed and wounded by a mass-batting in a movie theater? Or a drive-by knifing committed by an assailant from the window of a moving car? Doubtful. Though pro-gun proponents have pointed to the case of children being knifed in China on the same day as those slain in Connecticut, unlike the children in Newtown, all the children in China survived the attack.

Or how about the number of homicides committed with firearms versus other methods? From the Bureau of Justice Statistics:


In 2009, the latest year for which the Center for Disease Control has national statistics, there were 16,799 deaths from homicide in the U.S. — of those, 11,493 were committed with a firearm. That means of the homicides committed in the U.S., 32% used something other than a firearm. According to the Department of Justice, the likelihood of surviving a violent attack increases dramatically without the presence of a firearm by either civilian or criminal.

The Harvard School of Public Health debunks several myths surrounding guns, primarily that guns are used in self-defense all the time (false), and that guns do not increase the rate of homicide (false again). From the University of Utah School of Medicine:

A study of 626 shootings in or around a residence in three U.S. cities revealed that, for every time a gun in the home was used in a self-defense or legally justifiable shooting, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and 11 attempted or completed suicides. In another study, regardless of storage practice, type of gun, or number of firearms in the home, having a gun in the home was associated with an increased risk of firearm homicide and suicide in the home. Individuals in possession of a gun at the time of an assault are 4.46 times more likely to be shot in the assault than persons not in possession.

The University of Utah also finds that when firearms are used for hunting, accidental injuries are very rare — more rare than among all gun owners. That’s the only time guns are used as tools, but their purpose is the same across the board — to kill something. 

I make the tool distinction because a baseball bat, a car, a knife, rope, your hands etc. have a purpose other than killing something or someone. A gun’s purpose is to kill. Period. Even when a gun is used by a police officer, a homeowner, or a hunter in a legitimate manner, the intent is to kill that at which said person is aiming. 

I think we need to examine a culture where it’s easier to purchase a gun than to get mental health treatment. It’s easier to get a gun than to get a driver’s license in many states.

Here’s a thought experiment for you. Meet Nixon:


My husband and I adopted him in 2009. In order to do so, we had to get a background check, pay an application fee, fill out this form, and then wait to be approved. Obviously, we were, but the animal rescue has rejected numerous unfit people.

Now, in 2005, I walked into a gun show in Wyoming, and purchased a Springfield bolt action 30.06 Rifle for my then-husband, and a .40 Glock for myself. I bought from two private sellers and neither checked my ID. I actually asked the dealer I purchased the Glock from if I needed to give him my ID, or if he needed to do a background check or anything, and he laughed. He explained that our forefathers didn’t need “a fucking background check — they lie anyhow” and that the Second Amendment was better than any ID. He ended his speech by throwing in a free box of bullets, and said, “God bless the Second Amendment!”


In conclusion, it was harder and more arduous to adopt my cat than to purchase a gun. I’m glad it’s tough to adopt. It’s fucked that it’s harder than buying the guns.

Unlike many people who own guns, I was in the military and know how to shoot. But I no longer own guns. I don’t know if my ex-husband does, nor do I care. One big reason I got rid of mine? See above.




For anyone that has not heard about this, please read. Incredibly sickening. Even worse, this happened in the 21st century. How could this type of prejudice and violence still happen today?

As a proud South Korean who was educated in the United States and lived there for a very significant part of my life, I understand the sacrifices American servicemen and women have made to protect freedom and democracy in my country and around the world. The song I featured on in question from eight years ago – was part of a deeply emotional reaction to the war in Iraq and the killing of two Korean schoolgirls that was part of the overall antiwar sentiment shared by others around the world at that time. While I’m grateful for the freedom to express one’s self, I’ve learned there are limits to what language is appropriate and I’m deeply sorry for how these lyrics could be interpreted. I will forever be sorry for any pain I have caused by those words.

I have been honored to perform in front of American soldiers in recent months – including an appearance on the Jay Leno show specifically for them- and I hope they and all Americans can accept my apology. While it’s important that we express our opinions, I deeply regret the inflammatory and inappropriate language I used to do so. In my music, I try to give people a release, a reason to smile. I have learned that thru music, our universal language we can all come together as a culture of humanity and I hope that you will accept my apology.


By Anne Kim, APIASF/GMS Scholar

Dec 3/ re/present
Lt. Dan Choi re/presents his beliefs of equality in voice, representation, and rights. His defiance of military and cultural norms for the sake of values those very institutions taught him as being right inspires us to be true to our values.


As part of our continued commitment to serving the members of our nation’s Armed Forces, we’re joining with the Sierra Club Mission Outdoors program for our first annual Veterans Day Essay and Photo Contest. This contest, centered on the theme “What My Public Lands Mean to Me,” encourages veterans, active-duty military, and their families to submit photos, essays and video about their experiences and memories of time spent outside on America’s public lands.

(via npr)


“Buttermilk Brined Roast Turkey 
w/ Lemon-Parsley Gravy
Country Bread Dressing
Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
Graham Cracker Sweet Potato Gratin
Roasted Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese
Snap Beans w/ Caramelized Shallots & Roasted Mushrooms
Fall Harvest Salad
Apple-Pecan Cranberry Relish
Maple-Ginger Pumpkin Pie
Old Fashioned Lattice Apple Pie
& Thanksgiving Pecan Pie”

Bidens host wounded warriors for Thanksgiving dinner Olivier Knox

Generalship in combat is extraordinarily difficult, and many seasoned officers fail at it. During World War II, senior American commanders typically were given a few months to succeed, or they’d be replaced. Sixteen out of the 155 officers who commanded Army divisions in combat were relieved for cause, along with at least five corps commanders. Since 9/11, the armed forces have played a central role in our national affairs, waging two long wars—each considerably longer than America’s involvement in World War II. Yet a major change in how our military operates has gone almost unnoticed. Relief of generals has become so rare that, as Lieutenant Colonel Paul Yingling noted during the Iraq War, a private who loses his rifle is now punished more than a general who loses his part of a war.

From bestselling author Thomas E. Ricks’ article “General Failure,” in The Atlantic.

The piece is an extended excerpt from his new book The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today, and will make you rethink pretty much everything you know about the military and U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century.

(via thepenguinpress)

(via theatlantic)


When you put on that uniform, it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white; Asian or Latino; conservative or liberal; rich or poor; gay or straight. When you’re marching into battle, you look out for the person next to you, or the mission fails. When you’re in the thick of the fight, you rise or fall as one unit, serving one Nation, leaving no one behind.

One of my proudest possessions is the flag that the SEAL Team took with them on the mission to get bin Laden. On it are each of their names. Some may be Democrats. Some may be Republicans. But that doesn’t matter. Just like it didn’t matter that day in the Situation Room, when I sat next to Bob Gates — a man who was George Bush’s defense secretary; and Hillary Clinton, a woman who ran against me for president.

All that mattered that day was the mission. No one thought about politics. No one thought about themselves. One of the young men involved in the raid later told me that he didn’t deserve credit for the mission. It only succeeded, he said, because every single member of that unit did their job — the pilot who landed the helicopter that spun out of control; the translator who kept others from entering the compound; the troops who separated the women and children from the fight; the SEALs who charged up the stairs. More than that, the mission only succeeded because every member of that unit trusted each other — because you can’t charge up those stairs, into darkness and danger, unless you know that there’s someone behind you, watching your back.

So it is with America. Each time I look at that flag, I’m reminded that our destiny is stitched together like those fifty stars and those thirteen stripes. No one built this country on their own. This Nation is great because we built it together. This Nation is great because we worked as a team. This Nation is great because we get each other’s backs. And if we hold fast to that truth, in this moment of trial, there is no challenge too great; no mission too hard. As long as we’re joined in common purpose, as long as we maintain our common resolve, our journey moves forward, our future is hopeful, and the state of our Union will always be strong.”